In a country that’s not only becoming less white, but also more urban and secular, does the Republican Party have a future? On this month’s edition of Up Next: Perspectives on the Future of Everything, host Marty Lasden examines the GOP’s prospects with history professor Donald T. Critchlow, author of Future Right: Forging a New Republican Majority.
Being the academic that he is, Critchlow is not what you’d call a typical Republican. Nor for that matter is he an evangelical Christian. But he does insist that his party can and should have a bright future—demographic trends notwithstanding. “The assumption that demographics favor Democrats as the party of the future is wrong,” he writes. “The Democratic base, an uneasy coalition of women, minorities, and young voters, is vulnerable to a Republican takeover.”
Of course, it’s hard to talk about the Republican Party these days without mentioning a certain New York billionaire who made his fortune in real estate before morphing into a “reality” TV star. But as with all of Lasden’s “Up Next” interviews (“The Future of Being Dead,” “The Future of Making Babies,” and “The Future of Space Exploration” included), this one takes us well beyond the news chatter of the day. Among the questions he raises: Can the Republican Party effectively reach out beyond its base at this point without alienating that base? How difficult would it be for a pro-family Republican to say that businesses should be required to provide paid parental leave to their workers? Does Donald Trump’s nomination, in an odd sort of way, signal the waning influence of religion in American politics? And if, in November, Republicans lose by a landslide, which wing of the party is best positioned to pick up the pieces?
With the 2016 presidential election rapidly approaching, this is one “Up Next” episode you don’t want to miss.